With roots stretching back to 1919, Compass of Carolina has long served the Upstate community and beyond.
Originating as a refuge for homeless young women with a fundraising campaign of a mere $8,000, the mission expanded to serve all youth shortly after World War I, and soon after became the Juvenile Protective Association, with a capacity of 26 children, which was instrumental in establishing the Children’s Court of Greenville County.
In the late 1930s and early ‘40s, a community collaboration began, and the agency’s name was changed to the Family Welfare Society, where the organization employed one of the first black social workers in South Carolina—James Edgar Smith—to address juvenile delinquency in the black community.
After a merger in the late 1950s with the Children’s Center, we became Family and Children’s Service of Greenville County, and added casework, counseling, and adoption and foster care services to our repertoire.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, our agency saw much change as we refocused our mission and spun off several organizations to create a more specialized approach for our community in addressing Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Emergency Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims, and Credit Counseling. In 1996 the organization changed its name to Compass of Carolina. We have continued to serve the Upstate community in the areas of adult, child and family counseling; Domestic Violence Intervention; and fiduciary management through the Representative Payee program.
The Girls’ Protective Bureau is founded, and the Home at Greenacre is opened at Broad and Fall Street. The purpose of the home is soon broadened to protect the interests of all juveniles.
The Greenacre Children’s Home merges with the Family Welfare Society.
The Home at Greenacre is sold, and 43 acres on Laurens Rd is acquired; the new facility can house up to 26 children. At this same time, a new charter for the Juvenile Protective Association is granted.
Children’s Court of Greenville County is established.
The Juvenile Protective Association is instrumental in establishing the Children’s Court of Greenville County.
The development of legal aid efforts with volunteers
The Family Welfare Society undertakes the development of a legal aid effort utilizing volunteer services. They also employ James Edgar Smith, one of the first black social workers in S.C. to help prevent juvenile delinquency in the black community.
Name changed to Family and Children’s Service of Greenville County
The Greenacre Children’s Home merges with the Family Welfare Society. As a result, the name is changed to Family and Children’s Service of Greenville County and this agency undertook the management of the Family Welfare Society.
Emphasis changed to outpatient counseling and prevention services
After considerable study by the Community Council of Greenville County, a recommendation is made that the Children’s Home be closed. The home is sold and the emphasis of the agency changed to outpatient counseling and prevention services.
The Women in Crisis Shelter is established.
The Women in Crisis Shelter is established with funding from the community and the Department of Social Services as a program of Family Counseling Service.
The launch of two new councils
The Rape Crisis Council and the Piedmont Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse are launched and then separated from the agency.
Name changed to Family Counseling Center of Greenville
The name of the agency is changed to Family Services, Greenville, Inc. to reflect the change in name of its affiliate organization- Family Service America. A few years later, the name is again changed to Family Counseling Center of Greenville, Inc. to differentiate the agency from DSS and state agencies.
New program initiated
The Family Violence Intervention and Prevention program is initiated.
Family Counseling Center narrows its focus
The Women’s Shelter is terminated from the agency and divested to Safe Harbor, Inc. so that the Family Counseling Center can concentrate on “education, prevention and counseling.”
Name changed to Compass of Carolina
The Family Counseling Center changes its name to Compass of Carolina, with the tagline “Helping You Find Your Way”. The agency continues to add services such as a representative payee program, Violence Prevention in Schools, Life Enrichment Programs and Families in Transition Seminars/Classes.
New Upstate Saves initiative launched
Compass launches the Upstate Saves initiative.
Padgett becomes Executive Director
President and CEO Tom Bannister retired after 20 years of leading Compass of Carolina through many changes, and Beth Padgett became Executive Director.
Learn more about Compass.
Helping you find your way.